Do Kids Actually Gain Skills From Participating in Esports?
Do your kids spend hours playing video games online with their friends? That must have you as a parent thinking, "there's no way this can be good for my child!" but in reality, they could be learning tons of skills in that game that will prepare them for the real world. From teambuilding to problem solving and even thinking on their feet, esports can help provide kids with a foundation of many other valuable, lifelong skills.
Esports are on the rise. A market analytics company, Newzoo, said there were an estimated 165 million enthusiasts (players) in 2018. In 2019 there were 454 million viewers of esports and Business Insiders says that is expected to grow at least 9% over the next 4 years.
What are esports?
Esports stands for Electronic Sports and refers to competitive, organized video gaming. Simply put, esports is a sport just like any other - but players are using video games. It often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or even as teams. Esports refers to the field as a whole, and not any game in particular. So a video game may be a part of an esports league, or it may not.
How are esports beneficial?
With esports continuously on the rise and reaching more and more people each day, the question presents itself “Is this beneficial to my child?” The answer is YES. Getting involved in esports can have a wide range of benefits for students. Below are some of the top areas that shed positive light on participating in esports.
Participating in esports is a great way to learn and practice soft skills that are needed to succeed in the future job market. Soft skills refer to things like time management, networking, teamwork, and creative thinking. A study done by Aalborg University found that players said “their 'people skills' transferred to friends, family and school work as a result of esports training.”
North American Scholastic Esports Foundation (NASEF) says that when students are participating in esports, they are “gaining skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and in English language arts.” Other skills that can be gained from playing esports are digesting information quickly and accurately, keeping calm under pressure, and strategically working with others.
Esports have even made their way to the collegiate level. Some schools have state of the art facilities designed for their players to get in the game and have the ultimate playing experience. The National Association of College Esports (NACE) was formed in 2016 which is on a mission to develop the “structure and tools needed to advance collegiate esports in the varsity space.” The NACE hands out 16 million dollars each year in scholarships and aid. More than 170 colleges and institutions “offer officially recognized varsity esports programs” and have joined the NACE.
Not only are colleges jumping on board and making scholarships available for esports players, but students can even go on to pursue this career path and study Esports Management from many different schools in the United States. With millions of people watching esports, the industry definitely has a wide range of roles to fill.
Bringing us to our next point, careers. As the esports industry grows, so will the events, competitions, sponsors, teams, and playing field. From the people who design the games, to the shout casters and online streamers there are so many roles to be filled in the esports industry.
If you think about a huge esports tournament with 10,000 people- that's an event to scale of a NFL football game. It also requires people who have a much higher technical skill set.
Mental and Physical Health:
Esports is a “cerebral activity” which means it relates directly to the cerebrum or brain. It requires students to think quickly, use problem solving techniques, and even identify patterns. These are all skills that are a part of a child's learning foundation. This could also be referred to as "brain-training" a popular term that refers to people performing puzzles and tasks that help to increase reaction times and solve problem.
When people play video games and win, they're receiving positive feedback which can increase their self-motivation. It gives them a boost of confidence and the desire to play again. Receiving that positive feedback can be a key player when it comes to overall happiness.
Programs at Engineering For Kids
Esports provides a space for kids to explore new opportunities, navigate new worlds, and ignite excitement. With esports becoming more mainstream, games and programs around the industry will continue to be more prevalent. With all of the great benefits and opportunities in these electronic sporting environments, there is no better time to get your child involved!